Ex-Alabama license commissioner indicted on charges she took public’s money

Published 2:38 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

A former official who had been responsible for licensing in an Alabama county is free on bond after being indicted on several counts, including using her public office for personal gain.

Attorney General Steve Marshall on Thursday announced the arrest of former Tuscaloosa County License Commissioner Lynne C. Robbins on charges of using her public office for personal gain, theft of property in the first degree and seven counts of computer tampering.

Robbins surrendered to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and was released on $10,000 bond. It was unknown if she has an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Robbins, 56, of Tuscaloosa, served as license commissioner until her resignation in February 2020.

The use of public office for personal gain charge involves a series of checks Robbins wrote to her office that were returned unpaid for nonsufficient funds, Marshall’s office said in a news release. Robbins is accused of using her position to avoid paying the returned-check fee assessed in bad-check cases and to avoid repaying the face amounts of the unpaid checks, the release said.

The theft charge relates to an alleged scheme employed by Robbins, between January 2016 and Dec. 3, 2019, to take cash belonging to the office. The computer tampering charges relate to specific instances where Robbins altered data in the license office’s computer network to facilitate an alleged embezzlement scheme and to hide the scheme from discovery by county or state officials, the release said.

The charges against Robbins were brought after separate cases against Robbins were referred to the attorney general’s office by the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts and the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Further details were not released.

If convicted, Robbins faces between two and 20 years in prison on the use of office for personal gain and theft charges. Each computer tampering charge carries between a year and a day to 10 years in prison.